Liberty on Tap since 1984
My father, who died at age 97 in 2005, was a lifelong Republican but more importantly, a lifelong conservative. As such he constantly complained about moderate Republicans ("country clubbers," "Rockefeller Republicans," "RINO's") because their actions never matched their rhetoric.
In 1952 he supported "Mr. Republican," Senator Robert Taft of Ohio. A genuine conservative Taft opposed the New Deal; a non interventionist, he also opposed US entry into World War II, a position now anathema to the neoconservative war party that has taken control of the Republican Party and much of the conservative commentariat, not to mention think tanks such as Heritage. I don't know where Heartland is on intervention but would not be surprised to see them supportive of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a future war against Iran when the war drums begin to beat for military action there. I hope I'm wrong. As it now stands the neoconservatives appear willing to support any action to make the Middle East safe for Israel, no matter how many Iowa farm boys will need to lose their lives, to paraphrase Pat Buchanan.
I'm often amazed that conservatives who condemn social engineering domestically are quite willing to engage in international military social engineering in the name of establishing freedom, democracy, and American virtue around the world. And I wonder how that came to be. It seems to me that non intervention should be the conservative position and that a smaller, streamlined military one of its policy goals. The way contemporary conservatives talk about small government, one would think that the Department of Defense inhabits one planet while "big government" lives on another. None seems to worry in the least about billions spent on the hundreds of US military activities, the thousands of troops (not including those in Iraq and Afghanistan), and the hundreds naval ships deployed around the world. All these billions are spent while US borders remain unsecured. What, pray tell, is conservative about that?
Robert Taft would strongly disapprove.
But back to my father. When Eisenhower took office in 1953, rank and file conservatives hoped to see the New Deal dismantled or at least scaled down. It never happened. For 60 years government has grown under both parties. To my father the only good thing about Republicans was that they weren't Democrats. Beyond that, he saw little difference.
And now we have the wonderful Tea Party movement. I love the participants, mostly because they annoy the liberal establishment and also because they have the prettiest girls, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman, for example. They also make liberal TV commentators sputter and spit in exasperation. I love to see the ruling class made uncomfortable. But I'm not optimistic. Government and politics are inherently corrupt and no one is likely to change that. Too many people benefit from the current arrangements.
I look for it all to collapse because the current level of spending and borrowing cannot be maintained and no Republican or Democrat has the courage to do anything about it.